Tensions erupted at a community board meeting on Tuesday night, as opponents of a planned rezoning along the Crown Heights/Prospect-Lefferts Gardens border reportedly hijacked the proceedings and refused to stop yelling things. Matthew Taub at Brooklyn Brief has a very thorough recap of the meeting, the crux of which was a study on the rezoning that Community Board 9 had previously requested, and that anti-gentrification group Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP) objected to on principal. The board was eventually moved to vote on a resolution to rescind the resolution that requested the study, which led to the following, via DNAinfo:
Sixteen board members voted to rescind the resolution, nine members voted no and eight abstained, sparking cheers from MTOPP members who believed they successfully overturned CB9's earlier resolution.
However, the elation quickly gave way to confusion as those in the audience tried to figure out whether the abstention votes would count as yes, no, or neutral as the meeting adjourned.
When asked about the outcome immediately following the vote, CB9 Chairman Dwayne Nicholson didn't have an answer, saying 'I'm going to have to find that out.' It was eventually determined, after the fact, that the abstentions would count as votes against rescinding the original resolution, which is not going over well with the MTOPP people.
Other highlights from the meeting, which sounds like it only got crazier as it went on:
1) Newly elected Crown Heights district leader Geoffrey A. Davis shouting, "Rescind! Rescind! Rescind! Everything should stop!" He also refused to relinquish the microphone after his three minutes of speaking time had elapsed and yelled, "Somehow we have been taken out of the process. Our elected representatives are in a corner hiding. Is that right? Tonight we come back to put the power back in the people's hands!" "Davis eventually relented," Taub writes, "but only to later refuse to sit down, significantly delaying proceedings on multiple occasions." Blogger Tim Thomas described him as "clinically insane" and "overtaken by some unearthly spirit."
3) Brooklyn Brief, again: "'You have been served!' Alicia Boyd of the Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP) announced proudly, slamming an amended petition for answers to outstanding FOIL requests at the Board members' feet."
4) The police were called in to the room to intervene on multiple occasions.
5) District Leader for the 43rd Assembly District and State Senator Elect Jesse Hamilton was heckled by the crowd (to be fair, everybody was heckled by the crowd) who shouted things like, "How much money you getting from developers?" He responded, "If you shout in school, you go to the corner, right?"
6) Thomas claims to have gotten his hands on a paper that was handed out to MTOPP members before the meeting, which includes suggested chants such as "Hey Hey, Hey Ho, Luxury Housing has got to go!" and "Community Has Rights, Fight, Fight, Fight!"
· Vote to Rescind Crown Heights Rezoning Study Sparks Confusion [DNAinfo]
· Residents rip proposed 'upzoning' along Prospect-Lefferts Garden and Crown Heights border [NYDN]
· Chaos at Community Board 9 Meeting on Empire Boulevard Rezoning Tuesday [Brownstoner]
· CB9: Chaos and Cacophony Leave Empire Blvd. Vulnerable and Its Fate Uncertain [Brooklyn Brief]
· Wow. That Was Weird. [the Q at Parkside]